Mountain bikers, help a kid out

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Khoa Tran, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    alright i want to spend around 500 on a bike but i don't know which should i get....i was looking at the Trek 4900, Specialized Hardrock, Giant Warp.....i really want a full suspension because i like the way it rides but i doubt i'll get anything good for this price so i'll settle for a front suspension...
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Not going to get anything that's not a department store full suspension bike at that price range (unless you go way used).

    If you're new to MTBing and want to learn, don't go FS, a hardtail is great way to develop handling skills, something that a FS can mask. Kind of like learning to ride a motorcycle on a 1000cc bike or similar. Try those bikes on, see if you can go for a demo ride (and not just in the parking lot) and chose the one that fits the best. You should be looking for handling, is it easily to manuever-wheelbase, stem length, tt length, your technique, etc. all have a say in how the bike feels.. Singletrack is going to require a fast handling bike whereas rail trails is not important. Typically the shorter TT, wheelbase, stem, steeper Head tube Angle, will make a bike more "twitchy" and easy to turn. Given the same qualities elsewhere, of course. Handling and your skill is probably 85% of the quality of a bike, any great rider will be able to ride the piss out of practically any bike. But you wont get that til after a lot of riding so choose one that is comfy for you, made well, and in your price range. Giant, Specialized, and trek, all make decent stuff. Giant, in particular make excellent entry level bikes. Kona, Raleigh, might be others to look at for fairly inexpensive bikes. You're surely grow to want more but they make great backup bikes (or commuter bikes)!

    I graduated college in '95, bought myself a $1000 Marin Team, (Tange Prestige steel, fully rigid, but great components on it-full Deore XT, some nice aftermarket cranks, hubs), rode it everywhere, eventually put some suspension on it after a year of too, continued to ride. Fast forward way later, bought a Santa Cruz Superlite FS XC rig, rode that and raced that. Now my Marin team is my bike commuter/long haul tourer on it. I use that to bike to work, to do some bike touring on, to run errands, to get places. It is great, nothing on that bike it the original, except for the handlebar and the seat post. The frame is still in great shape.

    So what you're buying now is more so you can get yourself out there in the woods, don't go crazy looking for the "perfect" bike", you're not going to find the holy grail in a $500 bike, but you will find an excellent workhorse that will work for you. Get out and ride it like you stole it, wear a helmet, and have fun.

    Jay
     
  3. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, what type of riding do you intend to do? Is this for light trails or serious mountain biking over varied terrain?

    With a $500 budget you won't be able to get much. I started with a full suspension Giant DS2 Warp, added a hardtail Kona after about a year for the flatter trials and now have a Titanium softail that I put together myself (similar to a Dean Duke or Moots softail) that is my main bike.

    You might look into websites like performancebike.com (they have b&m stores in Cali. so maybe you can go by in person), nashbar.com they often have some pretty killer deals on bikes and bike components.

    If your looking just to get a starter bike to see if you'll like mountain biking this deal wouldn't be too bad:

    GT for $160

    If you decide you don't care for mountain biking you won't be out of a lot of $$. If you want to stick with it and upgrade to a better ride, you'll have a decent back-up bike.

    Oh, and I'll second ALWAYS wearing a helmet when you out on the trails. My lid has saved me from many interesting falls and collisions with a random tree or two!
     
  4. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    i'll be riding light trails and probably long flat rides up canyons

    i already have a GT mtb, i hate that bike after riding around on my brother's cannondale...i know i want to really start riding that's why i'm looking to buy a bike

    =/
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    What is wrong with the GT, does it not fit? Why would a Cannondale be that much better, is it FS? If you are doing light trails and ridin up cannons, in reality you are BETTER off on a simply hardtail and not a FS rig. A hardtail and a lockout would be idea. I ride my hardtail on plenty of light trails on my commute and I ride them on rail trails and stuff.

    Jay
     
  6. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, since you already have experience with riding and won't be tackling any really rough terrain, a hardtail is likley the best option for you. With your budget, your money will go a lot farther by buying a hardtail than by going for a full suspension (i.e. getting better components but having no rear suspension or getting full suspension and having lesser components).

    Here's a nice KHS hardtail w/ Hayes disc brakes and a Manitou fork that lists for $550 (2004 Alite 1000):
    [​IMG]

    In this price range it's all about getting a frame geometry that's comfortable and that handles well for you. You can always upgrade the components later on.
     
  7. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks guys, i'll look into hardtails more

    where can i take a look at the KHS in person?
     
  8. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    nevermind, i found dealers...these stores i've actually been to but never looked really hard
     

Share This Page